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Patton vs Zhukov, USA vs USSR after 1945, who would have won?

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An excerpt from a TOAOW doc :

"[...]Only the defeat of the Red Army would win the war, and with each year that passed, it was an army that would become stronger and stronger until it was largely invincible at the end of the war, the strongest military force on Earth. If Patton had gotten his wish to deal with the Russians at the close of World War II, it is very likely that the Soviet generals would have handed him his head!"

In a hypothetical situation, IF the USA kept fighting against the USSR after WW2, what would have happened?

IMO, I think the Russians would have won with their 7 million+ infantry, 18000+ tanks (with 4000+ IS 2s, not to mention the IS-3s which would be used) and 200000 arty pieces, but it would have been a great war of attrition vs the US's 5 million soldiers, 10000+ tanks (the pershings and super variants would see much use probably) and comparable number of arty.

It would have been a great fight, that's for sure. I think the logistics would support the USSR better as their resource base was closer than the Soviets.

Would really like to hear from the grogs.

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Don't discount Britain and the Commonwealth.

Purely in materiel terms, this would mean the introduction of the Centurion and 17pdr ATGs and the development of Soviet jet fighters would have been somewhat curtailed.

In addition, the RAF had a significant strategic bomber force and powerful CAS aircraft.

The IS-3s would most likely have proved problematic - it would be another decade before the British had a comparable (if not superior) heavy tank.

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I have to add something here, (I was bored the other day and I thought...hmmm what about the Imperial storm troopers vs. the Enterprise redshirts?).

From what I understand, the Russians were running low on men, and also had a lot of stuff coming in from lend lease.

I suppose that Western allied airpower might have

had a decent advantage, plus the nukes, plus the navy.

That aside, there'd be some interesting shocks. For some reason, the Germans did seem to have trouble dishing out large amounts of casualties against the West as they did in the east.

Maybe, some of those recently surrendering Germans would have been given back their weapons and maybe a few bazookas (which I assume they might ditch for any panzerfausts lying around). It'd be interesting though. No doubt initially the West would have been in for a bit of a shock, but the West did have stuff to defeat things on the level of King Tigers...which I presume would have been able to in some conditions take care of IS-IIIs. Now I don't know about large massed formations of well supplied IS-IIIs...that's a different story.

Ah well.

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Don't forget allied airpower. I think that the "west" could have dominated the skies, which would have been a counter to the soviet superiority in tanks.

Also, the allies were a much more mobile/mechanized army than were the soviets.

Also, wasn't the Pershing a good match for the IS-3?

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Strictly a hypothetical situation so here's my two cents. The Western Allies would have used any intact German forces that were still fit to fight. That means, Tigers and Panthers would have rolled side by side with Shermans and Pershings. As one poster has already pointed out, don't forget about the British and for that matter the Canadians. Just my opinion here so I've got nothing to back it up but I think the Germans would have bent over backwards to help with this victory. Please post if you disagree. I would like to hear what you think about any German participation in this hypothetical question.

- also -

The Americans were the first to develop and use the bomb.

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I've been a lurker here for awhile, but I just can't resist a good hypothetical discussion ;p

In my opinion, it is a rather complex issue. Rumors were abound that the Soviets were "spent" however, I think you have to be cautious when you interpret "spent". In this war, I don't think you can count on the Canadians or the Brits for any serious extra input in terms of manpower. The Commonwealth was already stretching the limit just meeting its requirements for D-Day. I think it would have come down to one thing really, the Soviets vastly outnumbered the allies in terms of raw manpower. Add to that the Soviet armies were forged in the most ruthless fighting of the war, they were used to an entirely different level of hardship and fighting that the Allies for all intents and purposes were never exposed to luckily. It is my personal opinion that the Allies would have been thrown out of Europe rather promptly and that would have ended the entire war there. The civilian outcry at losing such a massive force against a one time "ally" probably would put the breaks on any future endeavors.

There are other intangables, such as nukes, but I really feel that despite the use of nukes, the Soviets were absolutely resolved at this point in their history to not give up, especially after coming so close to utter defeat and rally back to win through.

If the allies managed to somehow hang on in Europe, and prolong the war, I think then, and only then would the allies have a chance. However that would have entailed the US entering a state of total war, in which every able bodied man aside from Farmers was conscripted and packed off to europe wholesale. Only then would I believe the allies would have had the men on the ground to batter back the "spent" Soviets ;p

I just feel that, the Soviets had been through so much, to let a miniscule force compared to what they had take ultimate salvation away from them.

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Originally posted by TANK ACE:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> The Americans were the first to develop and use the bomb.

Yep russia would be a crater and there would be no cold war. Just think. </font>

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Too much focus on number of tanks. Factors to consider:

Who is on the offense? Soviets already were running into trouble keeping forces moving, and this only gets worse the further into Europe they push. Compound this with allied air superiority (see below)and it is bad news for the USSR.

Who has control of the air? Remember, the Western allies not only had a huge advantage in the numbers of tactical aircraft, they also had the only stratigic bombers available. Those stratigic bombers flew at an altitude at which most Sov. fighters could not operate effectively. The Soviets never faced anything like Western Allied airpower from the Germans, even in 1941.

End of lend-lease. The Soviets relied very heavily on lead-lease for raw materials, food, trucks, boots, you name it. Without materials from the west, the Soviets have real problems with supply.

Manpower. The Soviets were facing far greater manpower problems that is immediatly apparent by examining only the number of men in their army.

The Bomb. May not have had many, but the US had the means to deliver the few that could be built quickly basically anywhere.

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Well My guess would be the Western Allies.

1.Soviet Supplies were badly stretched and forces were deep in enemy territory. The Red army was not nearly as good at logistics as most of the other combatants. During the winter 1945-46 the Red Army in Germany was forced to forage for supplies. The Red army in germany had alot of unfriendly ground behind them: Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia were not particulary happy to fall behind the Iron Curtin. Also the sheer brutality and chaos of the war left roaming bands of Bandits and Partisans who made travel through those territories difficult. Compare this to the western Allies. The Allied forces always had sufficient supplies even when deep within Germany. The Americans were masters of Logistics. They managed to have better supplied armies then any other fighting power despite being the farthest from the fighting and waging war on two seperate fronts thousands of miles apart. Behind the combined armies of Allies was France, Belgium and the Netherlands. All friendly countries. Also the Infrastructure of the these nations was better intact to that of the east.

2.The war would not be confined to Europe. The Soviet Far east would have to garrisoned. Cities of Petropavlosk and Vladivostok would vulnerable to Marine raiders and bombing runs. Chaing Kai-Shek's Nationalist chinese could cause problems for the Soviets if those borders are not properly maned. Commonwealth soldiers would attack Soviet garrisons in Iran from India. In short the war would be fought all over the Soviet Union.

3.The Soviet Unions acceptance of lend lease equipment and materials made them somewhat reliant on those materials. The most important of these were not tanks but the logistical vehicals such as trucks, jeeps and halftracks. The Red Armies mobility was greatly increased by this stuff. If the supply of spare parts for these things suddenly stopped then writing up new logistic tables would be the least of their problems.

4.Both American and British Air-forces were far superior to the Soviets in nearly every regard. Technology, numbers, supplies, and training all favored the Allies. Besides I don't think the Soviets ever came up against a thousand bomber raid.

4.The Soviet Union used alot of WWI infantry and artillary tactics and doctrines. Their tank doctrine were quite advance but their Infantry still charged elbow to elbow and their artillary still relied on "rolling barrages" to destroy targets.

5. Navy... Well The Soviet Submarines may have been the only navy to loose more ships then they sank in merchant raiding operations.

6.If the Soviets managed to blitzkreig across Europe and throw the allies out of Europe,(unlikely considering the speed of the Red Army was not exactly breakneck, and crossing the alps to get at the soldiers in Italy would be difficult) that would not nessicarly end the war. The British were thrown out of Norway, France, Greece and Crete only to return to invade Italy in 1943 and France in 1944.

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Well, look at it like this. I don't have any exact figures at the moment, but if memory serves correctly, the Soviets had around 5 million soldiers operating at the end of the European theater(peak was somewhere between 7 and 9 if memory serves). The Allies had a paultry 70 or so Divisions (Germany invaded the USSR with 230 I think, of course this does not account for difference in divisional setups between nations, but still that is a HUGE man power difference), and that was really it. They had limited reserves in Britain, and for the US to prepare for a second invasion, would take probably in the neighborhood of 1-2 years. The British and the Canadians had spent their proverbial wad, there was nothing left for them to throw into the war effort. Canada was a country of what, 18 million or so? They had about 1.5 million in their services, most of which were assigned to non combat roles. Towards the end of the war, the Canadians were having problems getting replacements because there just were none to be found. I wont speak for the British because being that I am Canadian, and really can't remember the size of the British Isles at the time ;p

The Soviet doctrine was essentially, blow them to bits with a massive head on attack that they can't possibly withstand. Even with all their problems, I firmly believe that is exactly what they would have done to the Allies. Despite the problems they would have had against allied air power.

On the topic of air power, one thing that has to be considered is, the Luftwaffe was worn down over the period of several years. Against the Soviets they would not be facing token resistance, they would have been facing a very determined foe. A foe who had not been battered nearly to extinction by the constant onslaught of several years. I think you would have seen ultimately the Allies take superiority of the skies, but at a cost that would have compromised their ability to cripple the Soviet land forces to the extent they did to the Germans. The Allies would have been able to replace losses quickly, but the question remains, what kind of damage could the massive Red Army do to the much smaller allied forces in these periods?

Someone mentioned that, even if the Allies got thrown out of Europe they would probably be back. This is where I just dont think it would have been feasible. We would have been talking about essentially the entire western armies marching off to Siberia. I don't see a second Dunkirk being successful unless the Allies saw the writing on the walls, left some forces as a rear guard and got the heck out of dodge so they could get the majority of their forces withdrawn.

However, one must understand the implications of losing such a force. The British wouldnt have the manpower of appropriate age to partake in another invasion for another 5-10 years. The Canadians certainly would not. Only the Americans had a large enough pool of able bodied men to really mount another serious attempt at the liberation of Europe, but the question that must be asked is would they?

I think what we are running into now in this discussion is likely the same questions the Allied and Soviet commanders ran into. The best the Allies could really hope for arrayed against such a massive force (despite its severely weakened state) was a stalemate. The Soviets probably looked at the situation and felt that with the Americans having the A-Bomb, any offensive into Europe now would be ultimately too risky to explore ;p The costs far out weighed the possible gains, and in the end that is why it never happened.

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Originally posted by s3333cr333tz:

The Allies had a paultry 70 or so Divisions (Germany invaded the USSR with 230 I think, of course this does not account for difference in divisional setups between nations, but still that is a HUGE man power difference), and that was really it.

Your numbers are a little off. 61 U.S. Divisions alone (with about a third armored and a very high percentage of mechanized and motorized units). France had at least 8 divisions (three armored). Great Britain had somewhere around 30. So, we are at 90 plus without even adding in the Polish, Canadian, and other Commonwealth troops that may have been available. Now add in the 21 U.S. in the Pacific, and more in the US, some of which would certainly been moved to Europe in the event of hostilities with the USSR, and the numbers are getting closer. Finally, the difference in division size was not a trivial issue. Soviet divisions were often around one half the size of a Western Allied division. Now we are looking at something closer to parity in manpower, with the Western Allies on the defensive with far shorter lines of supply.

You also discount lend lease, which is strange given that the Soviet Army moved on US made vehicles, and was fed in a suprisingly significant amount with US food.

Finally, the Soviet air force was strictly a short-range, low-altitude tactical air force. It would not have been able to mount any real defense against long range high altitude bombers. B-29s, B-17, B-24s, Lancs, etc... and their escorts would have been able to strike at will deep into Soviet territory with out much danger. The long supply lines of the Red Army would have been in shambles very early on.

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Just to add to the discussion, don't forget French and Italian manpower, not to mention the rest of Europe and South America - not to mention the millions of Germans.

It would have been a devestating war but Russian production capabilities - especially of food were greatly curtailed at that time.

The effect of B-29s blasting Soviet cities to include Moscow with nukes cannot be discounted. Especially there concentrated POL industry.

I say make a simulation and give it a try.

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To be honest I don't think nukes were a real possiblity. I believe that The US had already dropped all the bombs it had. There would not have been a new one for some time. Those things take a long time to make! They might be able to level one or two Russian cities with them but I don't think it would have made a real big difference. Military planers(at least in the 1950's)thought that though nukes would be used, they would not the deciding factor.

I still think that the West would win but mostly Because of supply. You can have the biggest army in the world but if you can't move or feed it does not do much good.

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It seems WESTERN ALLIES dominate the USSR. Patton already had plans drawn up for to ussr back into russia. IT is quite clear that Western allies would have won. STRATEGIC BOMBING, AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL MUSCLE, SUPERIOR INFANTRY TACTICS AND TANK TACITCS AND WELL BETTER UNIFORMS. smile.gif

[ October 13, 2003, 12:45 AM: Message edited by: TANK ACE ]

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Originally posted by Hans:

I say make a simulation and give it a try.

The original release of Steel Panthers came with a "Patton's Dream" Campaign where you fight off a post war Soviet invasion of Germany. I could never get past the first battle...

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I think the West should have allied themselves with Germany agaiinst the Soviets and waged a combined German/Anglo/American Jugernaught against the Red Steamroller. Combined the Commies would have been knocked out of Europe and the cold war would have been avoided entirely.

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To continue this in Combat Mission terms. Hey! let us pit T-34's against Sherman's (or whatever the improved WWII versians were) point is. Give the player the options of doing that. Steel Panthers was'nt as innovative as CM but it had more flexibility in this regard.

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Originally posted by General Brock:

To continue this in Combat Mission terms. Hey! let us pit T-34's against Sherman's (or whatever the improved WWII versians were) point is. Give the player the options of doing that. Steel Panthers was'nt as innovative as CM but it had more flexibility in this regard.

Actually, you can do this in CMBB: Use captured T-34s vs. Sov Shermans, et violà!

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Originally posted by Razgovory:

Well My guess would be the Western Allies.

1.Soviet Supplies were badly stretched and forces were deep in enemy territory. The Red army was not nearly as good at logistics as most of the other combatants. During the winter 1945-46 the Red Army in Germany was forced to forage for supplies. The Red army in germany had alot of unfriendly ground behind them: Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia were not particulary happy to fall behind the Iron Curtin. Also the sheer brutality and chaos of the war left roaming bands of Bandits and Partisans who made travel through those territories difficult.

Many people don't know that the Ukrainian nationalist movement fought on until the early 1950's. General Nikolai Vatutin (perhaps the USSR's best field commander), was killed by Ukrainian partisans in 1944. The nations that dumped the German yoke for a Russian one so quickly in '44, would have been just as happy (prolly more so) to throw in with the West.

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Hi all

I played the SP WWIII campaign up till the final battle, where Pershings revealed their inability to handle defending JSIIIs.

An interesting hypothetical question.

Actually, I suspect that the outcome of a USA v USSR conflict in the 1940s would be entirely dependent on where and when it started. I can see 4 different scenarios.

1. A limited German surrender 1944/45. This is where the German resistance succeeds in killing Hitler and overthrowing the Nazi regime. Germany surrenders to the Western Allies, who I turn attempt to force a settlement on Russia that stops Soviet expansion at the 1940 or 41 borders: thereby guaranteeing a free Poland. The USSR refuses. War ensues.

I this scenario, the battered by still undefeated German forces joins the Western Alliance. Germany gains the logistical support of the USA at the same moment that the USSR loses it. The USSR may make common ground with Japan.

In this scenario I believe that the USSR cannot win. The allies have immediate access to German production and technology, and Germany gains the logistic support of its dreams. Patton and Montgomery could fight beside Model and Guderian, Shermans and Comets beside Panthers and Tigers. Finland would fight on.

The Russians would be forced to retreat back across territory already ruined by 4 years of war. The Allied/German advance would stall somewhere in the Ukraine due to extending supply lines, though amphibious operations could liberate the Baltic States.

The Pacific War would take longer, as I am assuming the Europe first policy would still apply.

Likely outcome: The USSR makes peace and returns to its 1922 borders. Poland restored to its 1939 territory. The communists lose in China. Japan survives until 1946 (if it allies with USSR), or changes sides to join the allies.

2. Germany is defeated. Allied and USSR forces are not within the zones of control decided upon at Yalta. One or both sides attempts to "hang-on" to the extra territory. War ensues.

In this scenario, neither Germany nor Poland has much to offer either side. The Russians are exhausted post Battle of Berlin, but they have far more men and material on hand.

Initially the Russians would have the upper hand, although the allied forces have the advantage in the air. However, it will take a while for this superiority to translate into domination. After a few weeks fighting, the Soviets will have used up their available supplies, but the allies will have been forced back maybe a 100 miles in places, but with a number of isolated forces still behind enemy lines being resupplied from the air.

At this point superior Allied logistics coupled with air interdiction of Soviet supplies allows the allies to launch counterattacks. Soviet forces are cut off, and the bulk of the Soviet forces are forced back towards their supply. However, allied loses are heavy, and the allied advance also grinds to a stop.

Likely outcome: a peace treaty that leaves the USSR with the Baltic States, Poland, Hungary and Rumania still in the Soviet camp. Germany mostly liberated, Austria and Czechoslovakia’s fate determined by the fighting.

3. Post WWII resumption of fighting. In this scenario both Germany and Japan have been defeated. The Western Allies have already begun their post WWII force reductions. Apart from the USA, all the other combatant's economies are in taters. USA has the A-Bomb; Soviets don't (pre-1949). An event like the Berlin Blockade triggers off a war.

In this scenario, the aggressors (most likely the USSR) have taken steps to have adequate resources at hand for a sudden offensive. The victims (most likely the Allies) are taken by surprise AKA Korea.

As long as the aggressor planned on a limited gains war, they could probably pull it off. While the USA still has the A-Bomb, it would be difficult to use it if the conflict only lasted a couple of weeks, and if the Soviets held sufficient POWs to take revenge upon.

Likely outcome: The aggressor gets limited territorial gains (other half of Germany). The Cold War starts off a lot warmer this time around.

4. A 1950 offensive. Both sides have the bomb. Economic recovery has started in Western Europe, but disarmament by the Western allies has left them venerable to sudden attack. Communist China is now in the Soviet camp, and threatens European colonies in SE Asia.

Likely outcome: Total Allied defeat in Europe without using the bomb. Otherwise its WWWIII with many European/Russian cities destroyed by nukes. Eventual stalemate once USA fully mobilises for war in Europe using surviving allied territory as a staging post.

These scenarios/outcomes are JMO.

Regards

A.E.B

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